The newly released Microsoft Windows 11 operating system also needs maintenance so that the pace does not collapse. We reveal new tuning options and show tried and tested ones that still work. There are also additional tools.
The development of Microsoft Windows 11 is largely complete for the time being. The first benchmarks confirm that the new operating system has speed advantages over Windows 10. It can be assumed that Microsoft and hardware providers will continue to turn the performance screw with driver updates.
Windows 11 is also subjectively smooth to use: Windows open with a more distinctive animation; with Windows 10 (and so far only here) the maximization of windows was accompanied graphically. Incidentally, the fact that a new Windows version does better than the previous one in speed tests is nothing new: Windows 7 already ran faster than Vista – and Windows 8 (.1) and Windows 10 surpassed Windows 7, especially when booting thanks to their Quick start mode.
The latter is still included in Microsoft Windows 11. For maximum liveliness on startup and shutdown, don’t disable it. In addition to the acceleration feature, also known as the hybrid boot, there are other adjusting screws that are important for speed. Here you will find an overview of Microsoft Windows 11 tuning measures: How to tidy up the system and elicit more responsiveness from it.
Clean up Windows 11 using Disk Cleanup
The classic disk cleanup of earlier Windows versions is still on board: With Win-R and cleanmgrcall them up. The function scans your drive for garbage data and deletes it. It does not end up in the trash, which is why it cannot be easily restored.
However, by bypassing the recycle bin, storage space is released immediately. Since the detected content is mostly unimportant and not absolutely necessary for the system operation, you usually do not have to fear any disadvantages from cleaning up. After the selected partition has been scanned, you will see the ballast found.
On the right of each entry line is how much storage space a cleanup would free up. With a check mark you decide which elements are to be removed. If you select an entry, read an explanatory text on the garbage data category under “Description” below.
Depending on the selected cleaning option, the “Show files” button will appear in the disk cleaning, with which you can view in an Explorer window which content would be affected by the deletion. If you want to track down even more garbage, click on “Clean up system files” and restart Cleanmgr with administrator rights.
Another drive scan is carried out, then check the box as desired. When done, click OK> Delete Files. Cleanmgr now cleans up the data carrier and shows a progress bar with information about where it is currently scrubbing.
Clear out Windows 11 with CCleaner
A good alternative to disk cleanup is the CCleaner . The tool worked reliably in our test with a preview version of Windows 11. In the upper program area, the CCleaner documents which Windows is installed. Windows 10 was incorrectly displayed here. Since the CCleaner update to version 5.84.9126, the detection now works. Compared to its predecessor, Windows 11 does not have enormous technical modifications, so other system tuners and older programs in this segment should also be able to cope with it.
The program deletes more data garbage than the system’s own clean-up function Cleanmgr: Because CCleaner cleans up other areas, especially the chronicles of external browsers such as Firefox and Google Chrome. The utility also copes with the native Chromium Edge.
A registry cleaner is built in: if you like, you can run it once. This cleans up the operating system pore-deep, but does not work miracles in terms of performance gains. When cleaning the registry, CCleaner creates a backup in the form of a REG file, with which removed registry contents can be restored in the unlikely event of an error.
Clean up with the Settings app
Like Windows 10, the Windows 11 Settings app has had a system-wide cleanup. Press Win-i and click to navigate to the area “System> Storage”. Here you can remove data that the system considers unnecessary with little effort. If you wish, you can activate “memory optimization” by moving a toggle slide switch.
It promises “automatic freeing of storage space, deletion of temporary files, management of locally available cloud content”. You determine the interval at which the routine works: A mouse click takes you to a settings dialog with the drop-down menu options “If there is little free space (standard)”, “Daily”, “Every week” and “Every month”.
You can download CC cleaner from this link.
Windows 11 warns of new auto starts
One of the innovations in Windows 11: The operating system informs you when it has found a new autostart. Programs like to create such co-starter entries when they are installed in order to load them automatically when the PC starts. This is not always desirable – and it often comes at the expense of performance.
Auto starts may cause too many and / or high-performance programs to reside in the RAM, which is usually the greatest source of PC braking: If there is a lack of free RAM memory due to heavy load, Windows must transfer data from there to the SSD or HDD , which are much slower than memory. Microsoft’s innovation in this direction is therefore to be welcomed; it could be referred to as the startup firewallrewrite.
You will no longer need some Windows 10 tools that have existed for a long time that display comparable warnings.If an auto start info message pops up at the bottom right, switch to the Settings app with a click. If you wish, you can flip a toggle switch there to paralyze the respective co-starter. If you don’t want to deactivate the auto start, because you want it to, ignore the pop-up message or close the Settings app again.
In our tests, the auto start notifications did not always pop up reliably. You can also take a look at the auto starts (and switch off what is ballast): in the Task Manager or in the Settings app . You can call up the Task Manager with Ctrl-Shift-Escape ; Here click on “More details” (if necessary, but only once) and switch to the “Auto start” tab. If you want app-based tuning, press Windows-i and click on “Apps> Auto start”.
The task manager is more informative when it comes to additional auto start information (see test of the Windows settings app-based auto start manager), so experienced users should prefer this classic tool. If you are a beginner, it doesn’t matter whether he or she uses tool A or B. The procedure is identical for Windows 10.Auto runs is even more powerful, but somewhat more complex to use . This is a good way to deal with an overcrowded car start.
Windows 11: Call up defragmentation
In our experience, Windows 10 runs noticeably slower than Windows 7 on PCs with a hard drive as a boot drive.With Windows 11 it is probably similar; especially since the hardware requirements have increased slightly. Whether used as a boot drive or as a mass storage device for your files: If there is a hard drive in your PC, defragmentation is recommended.
You can tune the memory with the well-known tool, which can be called up with Win-R and dfrgui and the Enter key. Since Windows 8 trimsdfrgui.exe SSDs, the Windows 11 counterpart can do this too. The SSD receives the request to empty memory areas with previously deleted files so that future write operations to these flash cells can take place without any delays without prior explicit emptying (which costs time).
With regard to the auto-defrag interval, you can choose between “Daily”, “Weekly” and “Monthly” in the settings, as with older operating systems. A new feature of the Windows 11 defragmenter is the “Advanced View” button. If you check this box, the on-board tool will also list cryptic mass storage entries that begin with “//? / Volume”.A good alternative is O&O Defrag Professional , which has two special SSD defrag modes, supports the trimming of flash storage media and has a number of hard drive defrag algorithms.
Terminate unnecessary programs in RAM
To free up used memory, exit programs that you currently do not need: Start the Task Manager with the key combination Ctrl-Shift-Escape and select “More details” the first time it is called. The standard tab is “Processes”, you can either terminate unnecessary RAM-EXE files here or on the “Details” tab. This is done via the context menu and the “End task” option or by clicking the “End task” button at the bottom right. Before doing this, sort the entries of your active programs by clicking on the column headings, for example according to their load on “CPU” or “RAM”.
A strong replacement for the Task Manager is the Process Explorer from Microsoft’s Sysinternals . You can also shoot performance robbers in the RAM and get more detailed information.
Uninstall unnecessary programs
Every now and then, uninstall programs that you don’t need. This creates free storage space. If a remote application has set up autostarts, ideally those will also disappear when they are removed. Press Win-R and enter appwiz.cpl to open the software removal sub-area (applet) of the Control Panel . This is where you remove classic desktop applications, but not apps.
Both types of programs are listed and eliminated by the Uninstall Manager, which is included in the Settings app: they can be called up by right-clicking the start button or pressing Win-X. In both cases, select “Apps and Features” in the start button context menu.
Tip: If you are concerned about cleanliness, use the CCleaner to delete any remaining entries in the registration database at the end . In Windows 11, as in Windows 10, appwiz.cpl is still restricted in that only one uninstallation is possible at the same time: If Windows is still executing one, the next one is blocked. If you double-click on a program entry to remove it, you will see an error message.
Bonus tip: The Revo Uninstaller uninstalls particularly thoroughly. After the software removals have been completed, it performs a scan, which then eliminates residues. You choose one of three levels of thoroughness.
Windows 11 services optimization
In addition to autostarts, there are services in Windows: mini programs that also load when the operating system is started, but do not have a graphical user interface. The background tools often require few resources. Occasionally, however, they allow themselves a large part of the CPU reserves.
It is difficult to predict when that will happen. Optimization in this area is associated with a risk, especially if you tune a lot at once – instead of deactivating services individually and recording each time long-term observation of the effects. If you would like to dare to clean up the services, press Win-R and open the services manager with services.msc .
You can find an article with tips on how to improve the performance of the Services here: ” Disabling Windows Services: How to Purify Windows “. The following guide shows how confusing service optimizations are: ” Service names differ in two standard tools “.
Updates for Windows 11 and programs
To ensure safe PC operation, you should regularly install updates. Since Windows 10, they have been installed automatically, which cannot be deactivated with a reasonable amount of effort. The auto-update routine of Windows 11 is comparable – and here, too, updates may bring you speed increases in individual cases. Open the Settings app with Win-i and click on the category entry “Windows Update” on the left. In the main window area select the “Check for Updates” button.
It is important to update the installed third-party programs. If the applications do this by themselves, do not switch off the automatic update. You benefit from closed security gaps (more security), bug fixing (fixed errors increase stability) and, thanks to better code, sometimes from increased speed.
Change settings with Winaero Tweaker
One of the first tuning tools that the manufacturer gives official Windows 11 support is the Winaero Tweaker . The program has categories and a search function to help you quickly find the system settings you want to change. The tool is used to individualize the operating system, not to accelerate it; Tidying up is not possible with it. At least you will probably operate the system more smoothly after a few adjustments.
Among other things, you influence the size of the taskbar, which Microsoft currently does not provide for when using the Windows 11 standard tools. Earlier versions of Windows, even XP, knew how to scale. The icing on the cake of the tweaking utility: It provides the performance index on the start page ready. It quantifies the working speed of your PC – if you don’t want to calculate the tempo score by command line command, you can benchmark your PC in the Winaero Tweaker with a click.
Switch on quick start mode
The quick start mode is active at the factory and accelerates start-up. Check if this is the case for you: Call with Win-R and powercfg.cpl the Power Options of Systemsteuerun g. On the left, select “Choose what to do when you press power buttons.” Check the “Shutdown Settings” area to see whether there is a checkmark in front of “Enable quick start (recommended)”.
If it is present, close the Power Options window. If the check mark is missing, you cannot just set it like this: The click box is grayed out – you can change this by clicking on the “Some settings are currently not available” option above. Now add the tick and save the intervention with “Save changes”.
Deactivate graphic effects
A classic tip for system optimization is to deactivate the graphic effects of the operating system. They are a gimmick and often dispensable. If you like minimalism, you can do without it. This often speeds up older PCs a bit. How to proceed: Press Win-R and enter sysdm.cpl . The system properties open. Switch to the “Advanced” tab and click on the top of the three “Settings” buttons.
The performance options appear. Their direct call is incidentally via the Win-R command system Properties Performance possible. In the dialog you configure which graphic effects should be activated or deactivated. You do this by ticking and removing ticks; Alternatively, you can automate the (de) activation of the check marks by activating “Adjust for optimal display” or ” Adjust for optimal performance ” on the radio button . Confirm with “Apply> OK”.
If you want to get rid of the newly animated fly-in of windows, make sure that there is no tick in front of the entry “Animation when minimizing and maximizing windows”. After making a change, confirm with “Apply”. The intervention is hardly worthwhile, because the unpleasant effects are complex: The animation is deactivated when opening, minimizing, closing and maximizing windows.
The Windows 11-exclusive visual effect when scaling windows horizontally also falls flat: Windows 7 introduced that you drag a window to the left or right edge of the screen in order to fit it to 50 percent of the display area. With Windows 11 this is more beautiful than ever.
Activate Ultimate Performance
Since Windows 10 1803 (April 2018 Update) there is a hidden power plan ” Ultimate Performance “. It promises to “provide the ultimate performance on higher-end PCs”. Noticeably more speed is not achieved – if you want to exhaust all tuning registers, you should give it a try. Open the Run dialog (press Win-R) or the command line (press Win-R, enter cmd ) and install the mode with the following code:
powercfg -duplicatescheme e9a42b02-d5df-448d-aa00-03f14749eb61
When calling up the energy options (press Win-R, enter powercfg.cpl ) you will now find the “Ultimate performance”. Set a radio button point in this line to activate this PC operating mode.Please refer to the following guide for more information on ultimate performance (installation, activation and uninstallation):
Reset Windows 11
If you don’t succeed in making a crippling Windows 11 sufficiently faster, reset it: Press Win-R, enter system reset and follow the instructions. Windows 11 reboots and is then virgin. Expect the recovery to take about half an hour. The time varies depending on your hardware. In the meantime, a notebook should be connected to the power supply.
Since Windows 10 2004 (May 2020 update), a cloud reset has been possible as an alternative, whereby Windows loads the latest reinstallation data from the Internet. This does not work under Windows 11 via systemreset.exe either. So take the following path: Press Win-i, then click on “Windows Update> Advanced Options> Recovery> Reset PC” and then “Keep my files> Cloud download” or “Remove everything> Cloud download”.
You can find more keyboard commands with which you can give Windows the spurs here: ” Windows at speed: 9 commands that make it faster immediately “. If your computer suffers from insufficient storage space, there are five commands that can help you free up disk space immediately .